Here is my recipe for the easiest, cheapest and most basic pasta sauce ever!

I started making this sauce a few years ago when I decided to ditch jar sauces in order to save money and cut back on the crazy amount of salt that is in ready made sauces. It is so simple and tasty that anyone can make it! There isn’t any measuring needed, it’s a case of seasoning it to taste so don’t worry if you don’t have measuring spoons.

Serves: 2     Cooking time: 10 minutes

What you will need:

  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • Oil for frying
  • A pinch of salt, black pepper and sugar (yes sugar)
  • Dried oregano (or any herbs of your choice).


  • Frying pan
  • Potato masher/spatula


Heat a small amount of oil in a frying pan.


Add the chopped tomatoes and simmer for five minutes.


Add a pinch of salt, pepper and sugar and a sprinkling of dried herbs.


Use the masher/spatula to squish the tomatoes so they create a crushed tomato style sauce.


Continue to simmer for five minutes, taste and add more seasoning if required. If the sauce tastes slightly bitter add more sugar, if it’s sweet add more salt, if it’s a bit bland add more pepper/herbs.


TOP TIP: Add a splash of the starchy pasta water to your sauce just before serving. This will help to bind the sauce to the pasta.


Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and mix in the pan. This will help to coat the pasta perfectly and will prevent the sauce from going watery.


You can get a bit more adventurous and add in dried chilli flakes, cooked chicken, vegetables and a whole load of other ingredients to make this sauce a little more interesting. This also works well as pizza sauce, just leave out the pasta water and simmer until slightly thicker.

This sauce keeps well in the fridge for a couple of days too, you could also pot it up and freeze it for future use though I find it so tasty I tend to eat it pretty soon after making it.

So that is it, an incredibly simple and cheap pasta sauce!

Happy Cooking,


Thrifty Clair X


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